Chef Charleen started her culinary adventure on the streets of the Bay Area. Setting up a makeshift kitchen wherever she could, she cooked in the streets, at local festivals, inside clubs and bars and in private kitchens for private clients. Building a solid following of both local and regional foodies throughout the Bay Area and beyond, she opened up her first pop-up restaurant in October of 2012 in Oakland, CA. The response was overwhelmingly positive with huge turnouts every week to eat her delicious Filipino Comfort Food creations. She was so encouraged by the response she decided to open up her own brick and mortar in Oakland.
Nine months after signing the lease, Kainbigan Filipino Comfort Food, opened its doors in August of 2013. In the short year that she has been in business, Kainbigan has been cited twice in Zagat for her savory adobos and for adding to the Filipino landscape in the Bay. She has been featured on Adobo Nation and in Audrey Asian Lifestyle Magazine. She has been nominated for an Oakland Indie Award, catered to such celebrities as Goapele, the rapper Eve, famed poet Ursula Rucker and has recently been chosen as one of the featured chefs for the Lucky Rice Festival in San Francisco. She has been instrumental in introducing Filipino cuisine to companies such as Google, Zoosk, OkCupid and Eventbrite to name a few.
Chef Charleen’s mission is to provide Filipino Comfort food to every one. She wants to introduce the palettes to new tastes and textures. She is constantly creating innovative dishes for her patrons to enjoy. Chef Charleen says “I want you to feel at home in my home, to walk in and feel instantly at ease and ready for tasty Filipino food that makes you feel good from the inside out. Whether you are well versed in Filipino cuisine or a newbie to Filipino food, I guarantee you will love every bite you take.”